What’s interesting is how years later, the memories of unique incidents are remembered differently. When the incident involved more than one of the children, their memories are similar, but each has their own version. They can laugh about it now and tease each other regardless of “their version” because the edge is removed and anger eliminated over time. It no longer matters what really happened.
Adults are no different. It happens in marriages and it happens in business meetings. What starts as a simple disagreement turns into a huge misunderstanding. The end result is the same---anger and a recollection of information that is skewed, depending on perspective. Ultimately, like my children, emotions need to be reined in and after a cooling period, apologies are in order. In discussions, at a later time, forgiveness is given and those who were angered, even if the disagreement remains, can again be friends.
The history of the Revolutionary War 1775-1783 includes the state of Tennessee. It seems legend has a battle being fought between a unit against Chief Dragging Canoe, of the Chickamauga Cherokee on Lookout Mountain, during this time. But historians contend this incident isn’t possible; but can document a battle in this area during 1788.
It seems memories have a way of skewing information, even for such things as dates of battles! This can only be by design. We seem to be created to “soften the surrounding frames” of hardships and miseries, much like women forget the pain of childbirth. We are designed to have the edge of hostility removed from past situations, which allows us to rebuild relationships.
There are those in our lives who hurt us and then apologize, only to do the same thing again…..and again. We attempt to look past the pain and forgive and do our best to reconcile. But once a relationship is broken, it takes time to rebuild the trust that once was, because our memories remind us of the heartache. Restoration is a process that doesn’t always happen immediately, and sometimes, depending on circumstances, restoration may not be possible, even if all hostility is removed and the edge of anger and hurt replaced with forgiveness.
Each of us have experiences that have left us with reason to apologize. This is apparent even in our private lives because we are careful not to disclose everything about ourselves, even to our closest friend. But eventually the anger or hurt we are carrying will place us in a cage of bitterness. There are times we need forgiveness, and we need to accept the responsibility of our actions and approach the person and have conversation. This is the only way restoration can begin.
On the other side of that equation is to remember sometimes it takes great courage to ask for forgiveness. When it is asked for, with sincerity, we must do our best to grant the request. Again, this is where healing can begin.